Four Reasons Readers Skim A Story

Allison Maruska

Readers choose a story because they think it will hold their interest, so why do they sometimes skim or stop reading the story? There’s probably a variety of reasons, but I’ve noticed a few trends in comments in my critique group and from my own reading habits that may offer some insight.

secrets1. Long, elegant descriptions slow things down too much.

Maybe I’m a lazy reader, but when I see a paragraph or a few paragraphs of description that take up a whole page, I groan a little. That means the author stopped the story to describe something in such depth that it took a page to do it. That’s a page where the characters are waiting in a kind of limbo for me to finish reading whatever backstory the author decided I needed to know at that moment. Chances are, I won’t remember most of it. It’s not like…

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Author: Cynthia "Cyndi" Hilston

Cynthia Hilston is a thirty-something-year-old stay at home mom of three young kids, happily married. Writing has always been like another child to her. After twenty years of waltzing in the world of fan fiction, she finally stepped away to do her debut dance with original works of fiction. In her spare time – what spare time? – she devours books, watches Doctor Who and Game of Thrones, pets her orange kitty, looks at the stars, and dreams of what other stories she wishes to tell.  

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